Firm’s civil engineering arm confirms £570m Nottingham project is ‘mainly’ responsible for losses in half-year results

Nottingham trams

Delays on Vinci’s £570m Nottingham tram project were the main reason for “significant losses” at its UK construction business for the first half of this year, Building can reveal.

This week a spokesperson for Vinci’s civil engineering arm Taylor Woodrow, which is building a 17km extension to Nottingham’s tramline with joint venture partner Alstom, confirmed the project had been delayed.

The Nottingham Express Transit extension to Chilwell and Clifton had been due to be up and running by the end of December, but is now not expected to open until the middle of next year. A spokesperson for Vinci said “problems” on the job had “resulted in some delays”, but added: “We deployed additional resources to mitigate these.”

The spokesperson confirmed the Nottingham project was the one “mainly” responsible for losses at Vinci Construction UK in results for the six months to the end of June.

In these half-year results, published in July, Vinci said: “There were significant losses at Vinci Construction UK. They were mainly due to one project that proved more difficult than expected, leading to overspending and delays, and sufficient compensation for [this]has not been obtained at this stage.”

Nottingham council’s portfolio holder for planning and transport, Jane Urquhart, said the project delay was “frustrating and disappointing” and the council would “be pushing them [Taylor Woodrow Alstom] to open the new lines as close to the contracted date as possible”.

In the same set of half-year results Vinci wrote down the value of goodwill in its UK construction business by €57m (£45m), citing “difficulties in the UK construction industry” as the reason for the writedown.

The Nottingham tram scheme is the second Vinci project this month to emerge as being hit by delays.

As Building reported in early November, Vinci’s £179m upgrade to one of Gatwick Airport’s piers – the biggest construction project at the airport – has been subject to “project delays and commercial challenge”.

In a joint statement Gatwick and Vinci attributed the increase to a “transfer of scope from other programmes into the pier one programme”.